Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
How to get there: From the village of Ballater, on the A93, join the B976. Head south and once at Bridge of Muick, follow the signposted road to Glen Muick. Stay on the road here until you reach the car park at the very end.
Grid Reference: NO 309851
Nearest Postcode: AB35 5SU
Parking: Spittal of Glen Muick Car Park (Pay and Display).
Facilities: Visitor centre, toilets.
Map with thanks to Ordnance Survey.
1 From the car park at the Spittal of Glenmuick, head down the track. After you pass the visitor centre building, turn right and continue on the track. You will cross over a bridge, which goes over the River Muick. As you progress along, you will head toward the houses at Allt-na-guibhsaich. Upon reaching the first building, turn left onto the track, then continue straight ahead.
2 The path then heads towards the Loch. You will reach a stone boathouse, and at this point there is an alternative route which crosses by the end of the Loch and short-cut to near the start of the circuit. If you remain on the elevated path, where it runs round the Loch.
3 Continue on the track until reaching the stone wall and pines which surround Glas-allt-Shiel house. This lodge was built in its present form in 1868 under instruction of Queen Victoria, which she used as a quiet retreat following the death of her husband, Prince Albert. If you pass in front of the house, then continue on through the woods on path to the other side.
4 The circular walk continues, with the path emerging from the pines sheltering the house. You will see the end of the Loch in view at this point. If you keep left at a fork and follow the edge of the water. The path will cross over a number of wooden bridges and by sandy shore areas. When you have rounded the end of the Loch, you will find the path becomes somewhat clearer, and it turns to the left – where you can follow the far side, following the path through the heather.
5 The path the climbs, to join a track at a bridge. If you bear left, cross the bridge, and then follow the track back along the side of the Loch. You will pass by a boathouse and a turning for the signed Capel Mounth track. If you continue to follow the track, you will recognise the origin of your route, and follow your earlier steps back to the beginning of the walk.